American activist and critic, whose professional work focuses on:
1) media campaigns on environmental and social justice issues, and
2) questioning the benefits of technology and economic globalization.
In a truly democratic society, any new technology would be subject to exhaustive debate. That a society must retain the option of declining a technology -- if it deems it harmful -- is basic. As it is now, our spectrum of choice is limited to mere acceptance. The real decisions about technological introduction are made only by one segment of society: the corporate, based strictly on considerations of profit.
--In the Absence of the Sacred
Ex-Merry Prankster and Grateful Dead promoter Jerry Mander was president of the San Francisco advertising company Freeman, Mander & Gossage in the 1960s, where he lent his knowledge of public relations to environmental campaigns. The 1960s Sierra Club campaigns that kept dams out of the Grand Canyon, established Redwood National Park, North Cascades National Park, and others, and successfully opposed production of the Supersonic Transport (SST)-- those were Mander's work (he also wrote the ad that caused the Sierra Club to lose its tax-exempt status). In 1971, Mander cofounded with Herb Chao Gunther the country's first nonprofit advertising agency, Public Interest Communications. He dissolved his commercial ad agency, and focused on serving nonprofit environmental and social action groups. His work on environmental issues has led him to critiques of media, technology, and globalization, as evidenced in his books:
...according to Mander, there are a few basic principles--understood best by traditional peoples--which we will need for the survival of this planet: we must abandon values that emphasize the accumulation of commodities and growth economics; we must reduce world population; we must abandon technologies that are incompatible with sustainability and diversity on the planet and we must study the forces which have caused the social and ecological crisis we now face. "This is not going back, " says Mander. "It is going forward to a renewed relationship with timeless values and principles that have been kept alive for Western society by the very people we have tried to destroy."

Catherine Ingram, "Bad Magic: The Failure of Technology," Interview with Jerry Mander, The Sun: A Magazine of Ideas, Issue 192, November 1991

Since 1980, Mander has been a senior fellow at Public Media Center (PIC's descendant), which has campaigned for Sierra Club, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, Planned Parenthood, Public Citizen, the James Bay Coalition, and hundreds of other organizations. Mander is a cofounder and currently President of the Board of Directors of the International Forum on Globalization, an alliance of 60 organizations in 20 countries doing public education and campaigns on global economic issues. He's also the Program Director at the Foundation for Deep Ecology. He holds a graduate degree (MS) from Columbia University's Business School in international economics.


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